Lynchburg Police: How to help if you find an unattended pet in a vehicle in the heat

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

(Photo: Courtesy MGN)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — If you think it’s hot outside, consider how hot it is for your furry friends! Lynchburg authorities issued a warning to the community on Wednesday about the dangers of leaving animals unattended in vehicles in hot weather.

On Wednesday, July 7, the Lynchburg Police Department shared a reminder from Chief Animal Warden Ryan Ball about leaving pets alone in vehicles.

If you happen to see a pet that appears to be in distress inside of a vehicle, here are some tips from the department about how to help:

  • Call the Lynchburg Police Department’s non-emergency number at (434) 847-1602 or call 911 to ask for an animal control officer or police officer to respond and resolve the situation
  • Stay with the vehicle, if possible, to share updated information with the department’s communications specialists.

Meanwhile, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) also shared some tips for all dog owners

  • Touch the pavement to ensure that it won’t burn the dog’s foot pads. 
  • Only walk only in the shade or on earth or grass.
  • Be alert to a long, curled-up tongue and heavy panting because, unlike humans, dogs cannot sweat as heat builds up inside their bodies. 
  • Never leave animals outdoors in extreme heat or inside vehicles. 

This advice comes after PETA fieldworkers discovered the body of a dog last month who died after being left chained up in the hot sun, with similar reports starting to roll in nationwide. In addition, a law-enforcement officer recently left a K-9 inside his patrol car that later died from the heat, PETA says.

According to PETA, more than 31 dogs were reported dead from heat-related causes last year, but most heat-related deaths go unreported, so that number may be higher.

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